Engineering students advance to finals in international hyperloop competition

University of Windsor and St. Clair College students have joined forces to compete against schools worldwide in a competition that encourages the development of a high-speed technology that has the potential to revolutionize mass transit.

They are one of three Canadian teams to advance to the final round of SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod Competition and one of 21 worldwide that will compete this summer in Hawthorne, California at SpaceX headquarters — a rocket and spacecraft company spearheaded by Elon Musk. The Windsor students will test their pods alongside prestigious institutions including Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

The group’s initial design work has helped them advance to the final round. After spending more than a year designing the pod and running calculations, simulations and modelling, uWinLoop turned to students from St. Clair College to assist with manufacturing. 

“With their extensive manufacturing resources, we will be able to manufacture the pod faster, which will give us more time to test and iterate on designs to be competitive and win in California,” says Stefan Sing, uWinLoop’s president and founder who’s in his third year of mechanical engineering.

Hyperloop technology uses electric propulsion in a low-pressure tube to propel a pod above the track using magnetic levitation and transport people or goods at speeds over 1,000 km/h. This first-of-its-kind competition challenges students to build a functional, scaled-down, prototype that can propel at maximum speed and stop within 100 feet of the end of SpaceX’s vacuum test track. 

uWinLoop visual concept. 

Sing says the team hopes to have a working prototype by early May to maximize the testing phase. The team is now fundraising to cover the hefty $87,000 cost of manufacturing and testing required to meet stringent safety measures.

“We are looking for support from companies in almost all technical and engineering spaces, as well as other community supporters,” Sing says. “From network communications and energy storage to material supply and logistics, we need all of these resources to compete in California. Students from all disciplines are welcome to apply and come play an active role in making university history.”

The team has setup a GoFundME page and also a sponsorship package that includes a breakdown of costs and project timeline. University of Windsor faculty advisors include Dr. Rashid Rashidzadeh, Dr. Narayan Kar and Dr. Aleksandr Cherniaev.

“We are very proud of our students and their achievements and would like to commend them for their dedication and hard work in this prestigious competition,” says Dr. Rashidzadeh.